Well, isn’t this an interesting development? Last night the Top 13 acts of The X Factor season 3 performed for America’s votes, but due to some graphics errors that displayed the wrong phone numbers for several contestants, the show decided to cancel out the votes. Now, instead of our first results show, The X Factor is going to have all 13 acts perform again, singing their prepared “Save Me” songs, before letting America re-vote.
Most impressively, this episode is still only an hour long. Taking into account commercial breaks, that leaves 42 minutes during which Mario Lopez has to explain the screw-up, the 13 acts have to perform their songs and the show has to recap it all and hopefully display the proper voting numbers. I’m guessing there won’t be much time for the judges to say anything, which is for the best since I can’t understand Paulina Rubio anyway.
It’s probably a good thing for the show since, airing opposite the CMAs, Wednesday night was the lowest-rated regular episode of The X Factor ever, pulling in just 4.5 million viewers. That’s almost as embarrassing as the voting screw-up, though I’m not sure if this episode airing against a live results show for The Voice (and a new episode of The Big Bang Theory) will do much better. Part of me wants to watch The Voice tonight to see if Carson Daly makes a joke about how that show’s votes are actually in.
Mario Lopez lets us know the pressure is on and the acts will be performing in the same order as last night.
The Wild Card goes for an emotional song again (Rihanna‘s “Stay”), and it’s another good choice. This is definitely more in line with what he should be doing, not the dancing hip-hop from the Top 16. There’s almost no time for the judges, but Simon Cowell loved it and thought it was a winning performance.
Proving that the graphics problems aren’t solved, they show Rion Paige’s intro before Rachel performs. If the graphics person wasn’t already fired, they should be now. She’s actually a lot better this time around, with a nice, slowed-down song that gives her voice a chance to shine and she kills it. So far we’re two-for-two on better performances than last night. Simon agrees that she was horrible last night and amazing tonight.
As always with this guy, I can only understand about 10 percent of the words he sings. That would be acceptable if he was a better singer, but he’s not. He’s becoming more and more unpleasant to listen to with every performance. Paulina Rubio says “I feel that this performance is being the most amazing performance I have ever saw.” I disagree with the sentiment and the grammar.
They’re charming and sensitive country boys as always, which their fans will definitely eat up with a spoon. My biggest takeaway is that Andrew makes a better lead vocalist than Colton. Simon thoughts there were nerves in the first half, but the lady judges loved it more than last night.
Wow, despite the volume of songs, The X Factor STILL squeezes in a promotion for Cover Girl with a backstage video about putting makeup on the contestants for a photo shoot. Obviously FOX took Cover Girl’s money and needs to put this on TV no matter what. This is embarrassing and some of the most shameless product placement ever.
She does a nice, quiet version of “Titanium” and it’s pretty beautiful. I’m impressed to see this side of her since we usually see her doing big dance numbers. Her big notes are stunning and glorious and I’m starting to believe she could be a legitimate pop star.
He’s going with Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” Like last night, he keeps his rocker attitude while showing a more sensitive side. It’s good, but the problem with this rapid-fire episode is that there’s no time between him and the amazing Ellona, so it’s hard to appreciate him at first because I’m still digesting her talent. But by the end, I’m on board and Jeff kills it again. Simon thought the phrasing was corny and Demi Lovato agrees, though Kelly Rowland insists the “styling” was good.
Alex and Sierra
The shrill, piercing squeals from the audience obliterate my eardrums. They’re cute as always, like Sonny and Cher, if Sonny Bono was a hot dude. Simon calls it immaculate, and if the live audience is any indication, these two are big hits. Simon also promises that Alex and Sierra will get to pick all of their own songs from now on because that was a good one.
I’m still struggling to understand this girl. I adore the tone of her voice, but I can’t stand a lot of her phrasing and various inflections and intonations. She tries to do too many things, and not all of them are necessary or successful. But hot damn, this girl can SING.
He’s a charming, good-looking guy, but I’m not wild about how he performs. It’s so forced and strained, like he’s using every last ounce of strength to hit the notes. And his falsetto is just off. Paulina says he’s sick, but he nailed it and did a great job. Simon obviously wants to disagree, but there isn’t enough time.
If she ever hopes to avoid being called old-fashioned, she needs to stop standing still and singing a ballad. She may not look like a grandma, but she performs like one. Yeah, her voice is insanely great, but The X Factor is about more than that.
This is weird, because now we get to see what they actually sound like as opposed to being buried in huge production numbers. They sound decent, I suppose, but Simon basically apologizes to the audience and seems upset that they have to do this, allowing us to see behind the curtain.
She does the country version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which is the most beautiful kind of pandering. It’s a stellar vocal, and it brilliantly brings attention to her condition and will probably get people to vote for her because of it. How do you not root for her? She crushes it and probably just earned herself the top spot on the leaderboard.
Once again we end with funeral director Donny Osmond. He sings R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” which makes me want to punch him in the face. This is the kind of bland, predictable song choice you’d expect him to sing. I can’t look past it, and yeah, the boy can definitely sing well enough, but this is the kind of crap that would’ve felt dated five years ago on American Idol. Simon objects to Tim wooping in the middle of the song.
As if to ensure there isn’t another graphics problem, they don’t even put up the phone numbers again at the end of the show. That could be bad news for people who don’t have fan bases already. I have no idea if tonight changed anything, but I suspect Rachel Potter and Josh Levi benefited from a second chance while Simon’s prefab groups Restless Road and Sweet Suspense got screwed because they’re designed for bigger performances.
We’ll find out who goes home on Wednesday before the Top 12 perform songs from the 1980s. And if you’re playing Fantasy TV with BuddyTV, predicting who gets eliminated every week, you’ll need to make new predictions for the Top 13 starting at midnight tonight, and then after Wednesday’s show you’ll only have 12 hours to make picks for who goes home next Thursday.
(Image and videos courtesy of FOX)